DDEL is one of 17 special interest groups of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, including students with disabilities and those identified as gifted. DDEL advances educational opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse learners with disabilities and/or gifts and talents, their families, and the professionals who serve them.

It is the only professional organization dedicated exclusively to the concerns of culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional learners.